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Recent comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin amount to little more than posturing after a disastrous campaign in Ukraine, but any comment from a world leader with a nuclear arsenal should be taken seriously, military experts told Fox News Digital. "I think when Putin says stuff like this, all he does is really kind of reinforce the point that [Russia’s] not really responding to a legitimate external threat," James Carafano, Vice President of The Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation, said. Finland and Sweden reversed historically neutral positions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, explaining that the "security landscape" in Europe had changed. Turkey said it would not support either country’s bid to join the alliance, which would effectively block their entry since any applicant requires full support from native members. But Turkey on Tuesday said it would now support the bids after reaching an "agreement" that "paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO," Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed.Putin on Wednesday said that Sweden and Finland could "go ahead" and join NATO, but warned that Russia would "respond in kind" if either country hosted the alliance’s military forces or infrastructure. PUTIN PUSHES TOWARD RUSSIA, BELARUS UNIFYING AFTER NATO EXPANSION"I'm not sure I would read anything strategic into it because on its face: It's a completely ridiculous statement," Carafano said. "I don't think you can really read anything strategic into it."Carafano explained that establishing any such infrastructure would take "months or even years" to complete, and the two countries already cooperate with NATO allies even if they aren’t currently members. "Finland and Sweden already cooperate and integrate its stuff with the U.S. military, so the notion that any NATO member would allow an outsider like Russia to dictate what kind of deployment infrastructure could be in a NATO territory is just laughable on its face," Carafano said. ERNST TAKES ON PUTIN, GLOBAL FOOD SHORTAGE IN PUSH TO DE-MINE THE BLACK SEACarafano suggested that Putin could have intended the comments sarcastically, but that "only Putin knows what Putin is going to do." "The guy’s pretty much a dictator, and he has an arsenal of nuclear weapons and a military, so I would never say, ‘Oh, geez, he’ll never do that,’" Carafano added. "But if you look at this consistent pattern of Russian behavior, where they have been threatening all kinds of things – everything from implying nuclear exchanges to military activity – in the end, all the Russians have done is annoy." James Anderson, acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy under President Trump, argued that Putin needs to save face after causing two neutral countries to join the NATO alliance thanks to his invasion of Ukraine. RUSSIAN MISSILE STRIKE NEAR ODESA KILLS 18 UKRAINIANS, INCLUDING 2 CHILDREN, GOVERNMENT SAYS"[The Russian people] see – and he no doubt fears they see – his aggressive actions in Ukraine have driven historically neutral countries to seek membership [in NATO]," Anderson said. "In a strategic sense, Putin’s invasion has made Russia as a whole less secure – not only because of the fact that the invasion did not go well, but now NATO is poised to grow." Anderson called Putin’s recent comments efforts to "reframe" the course of the war and its outcomes, calling Sweden and Finland’s efforts to join NATO "strategically significant." "All one has to do is look at the map to see that [Sweden and Finland] are in a geographically important position on the northern flank: It will become easier for NATO to operate in the Baltic Sea," Anderson explained. "It will also complicate to an extent Moscow's Arctic strategy."CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP"Within NATO, there’s an East-West divide: You have countries that are closer to the border, including Poland, the Baltics … who more directly feel the threat of the Russian bear," he added. "I think both Helsinki and Stockholm are doing this given what Russia has done in Ukraine and what they fear Putin may do in the future. They want that NATO Article Five guarantee - and who can blame them?"
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A 7-year-old elementary school student is being hailed a hero after he saved his classmate’s life during lunch by using the Heimlich maneuver.David Diaz Jr., a second-grader from Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Binghamton, New York, stepped into action when he noticed his friend had begun choking on pizza at school.He said he learned the life-saving move from "The Good Doctor," a TV medical drama he’d been watching with his father, David Diaz Sr., during the last year.NJ TEACHER'S 'HEROIC' RESCUE OF STUDENT CHOKING ON BOTTLE CAP CAUGHT ON VIDEO: 'I JUST WENT INTO ACTION'"If anybody is choking or is in danger, you always have to save them," David Diaz Jr. told Fox News Digital during a recent phone interview."If you don’t, then that could be really sad," the boy added.
From left to right, David Diaz Sr., David Diaz Jr. (front) and N.Y. State Senator Fred Akshar. The trio posed for a photo at Woodrow Wilson Elementary.
(Emmanuel Priest/The New York State Senate)Young David said he didn’t know for sure that he’d be able to save his friend when he put his arms around him. But he hoped that he could — since he was closer to the choking student than his teachers were at the time. Kristin Korba, a second-grade teacher at Woodrow Wilson Elementary, told Fox News Digital that David had been sitting across from the choking student."If anybody is choking or is in danger, you always have to save them." — David Diaz Jr., 7"The adults were circulating the cafeteria, monitoring," Korba recalled. "David rushed behind [the choking student] and performed the Heimlich."FLORIDA THIRD GRADER CALLED A 'HERO' FOR PREVENTING POSSIBLE SCHOOL SHOOTING"I went over right after it happened and checked [on the student who choked]," Korba added. "He was cleared by the nurse and parents [were] contacted."When Korba spoke with David, she learned he had seen the Heimlich maneuver performed on a TV show and made a note to "remember" it, since it looked like something "important" to know.
David Diaz Jr., a Woodrow Wilson Elementary School local hero, and N.Y. State Sen. Fred Akshar shake hands as the 7-year-old is honored during a June award ceremony.
(Emmanuel Priest/The New York State Senate)The Heimlich maneuver, also known as an abdominal thrust, is a first-aid procedure in which a person must apply pressure between someone else's navel and rib cage in order to dislodge an obstruction in the victim's windpipe, according to the National Library of Medicine. People can perform the Heimlich on themselves or others in the event of choking. "I'm very proud of my son." — David Diaz Sr.David’s bravery was recognized on June 13 when Binghamton City School District superintendent Dr. Tonia Thompson and New York State Sen. Fred Akshar paid him a visit.HEIMLICH HERO: VIDEO CAPTURES STUDENT SAVING FRIEND'S LIFE He was presented with a New York State Senate Commendation Award for his heroic deed.
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Celebrity stardom has a dark side.Many celebrities, including Britney Spears, Justin Bieber and Sandra Bullock, have dealt with stalkers. Sadly, this is nothing new. Law enforcement has been working to make life safer for stars since the murder of Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989.The "My Sister Sam" star lost her life at the age of 21 when a 19-year-old who had been stalking her showed up at her doorstep and shot her. Robert John Bardo was later convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.Schaeffer's death led California to create the nation's first investigative team focused solely on stalking.
Rebecca Schaeffer died after being shot in the chest by a stalker who showed up at her door.
(CBS Photo Archive)The state would go on to pass the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act in 1994, which prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from releasing people's private addresses.But despite the changes, many stars are still being targeted.KENDALL JENNER SEEKS RESTRAINING ORDER FROM ALLEGED STALKER WHO WAS RELEASED AFTER ARRESTBritney Spears
Britney Spears' ex-husband Jason Alexander ended up in jail after he attempted to crash her wedding to Sam Asghari.
(Getty Images)Britney Spears' ex Jason Alexander landed in jail after he attempted to crash the pop star's wedding in early June. Alexander arrived at Spears' home hours before the ceremony was set to take place. He livestreamed as he entered the property and walked around.Security asked him to leave, and a physical altercation ensued.Spears and Alexander married on Jan. 3, 2004, but the marriage lasted just 55 hours before it was annulled. Spears and Alexander were 22 years old at the time.His next court appearance is scheduled for July 12.Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande's stalker violated his restraining order and allegedly broke into the pop star's home on her 29th birthday.
(Amy Sussman)Ariana Grande got an unwanted birthday surprise from her stalker last month. He violated a restraining order brought against him by the pop star and broke into her Montecito home on her 29th birthday, according to TMZ.Grande was not home at the time of the break-in, but authorities arrested him. He was reportedly charged with stalking, burglary, damaging power lines, violation of a court order and obstruction.The man was previously arrested in September after he showed up to her home with a knife."I'll f---ing kill you and her!" he reportedly threatened at the time.Justin Bieber
Two men once plotted to castrate and murder Justin Bieber.
(Jason Merritt)Justin Bieber has had multiple stalkers, including a New Mexico man and his nephew who plotted to murder and castrate the pop singer in 2013.The plan began after a man in prison attempted to contact Bieber with no response. He then recruited his nephew and another man to drive to the "Love Yourself" singer's home and castrate him with garden shears before murdering him, according to reports.Bieber was outspoken about his feelings toward people who wait outside his home in a social media post in 2020."How can you convince yourself it's not completely inappropriate and disrespectful to wait outside my home to gawk, stare and take pictures as I walk into my apartment," he wrote at the time. "This is not a hotel. It's my home."CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTERTaylor Swift
Taylor Swift carries army grade bandage dressing just in case she ever encounters someone violent.
(Kevin Mazur)Taylor Swift has had a number of stalkers throughout her career. Most recently, a Brooklyn man stalked the singer at her NYC home and "across multiple states," according to police.The man was arrested on July 2 and charged with "stalking and criminal trespass.""You’re dead you know," the man allegedly spoke into Swift's Tribeca home intercom on June 12. "You’re holding her prisoner and I need to set her free."Swift once revealed she carries army grade bandage dressing due to her fear of violence."I carry QuikClot army grade bandage dressing, which is for gunshot or stab wounds. Websites and tabloids have taken it upon themselves to post every home address I’ve ever had online. You get enough stalkers trying to break into your house and you kind of start prepping for bad things," she told Elle magazine in 2019."Every day I try to remind myself of the good in the world, the love I’ve witnessed and the faith I have in humanity," Swift continued. "We have to live bravely in order to truly feel alive, and that means not being ruled by our greatest fears."Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock hid from a stalker in a closet after he broke into her home.